Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Diagnosing Pessimism

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-09-12


If the Liberal Party gives itself no hope for the next election, the upcoming sessions of parliament will see an unseasonal emphasis on getting bills through while the Liberals still hold office and Labor, in Tweedledum mode, let almost everything through without protest.

As noted in an earlier post (2007-05-08), the Libs may want to give the ALP a turn in office when the liquidity crunch hits, so the ALP becomes the scapegoat when our economic growth is revealed as mere adiposity rather than an ability to do heavy lifting.

What will be very interesting is to see whether Lib spending (either by pork or advertising) is designed to save seats that have under or over a 4% buffer: working to keep marginals in the hope of victory, or merely ensure they maintain blue-ribbon seats to avoid a complete rout and have enough numbers to be a workable opposition party.

Even though a late change to Costello might save a few votes, but not necessarily seats, why would you risk exposing the heir apparent to the odium of defeat and have a "loser" as the new opposition leader?  The Liberal Party’s best interests may be served by Howard acting as a sacrificial lamb.

To mix metaphors horribly, Costello is hoping that, after passing the poisoned chalice, the dead cat stops bouncing, the chickens come home to roost, the dollar will drop, but not the penny.

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3 Responses to “Diagnosing Pessimism”

  1. JM said

    Dave

    Costello has to do it now – there is no way he’s going to hang around for 3 years, let alone 6 in opposition. Also, first term opposition leaders *never* make it to PM, they’re always replaced first.

    So, even though the chalice is poisoned he has to take it, it’s the only one there is.

  2. Dave Bath said

    I note that Andrew Charlton, the author of OzNomics (reviewed here by the thinking-person’s right-winger, Andrew Norton) wrote an article in The Age a week or so ago along the lines that the Liberals might want to lose this election, although Charlton put it more in terms of Labor wanting to lose.

    I’ll repeat, I see the poison chalice as not so much being the leader of the Liberals, but being the party in government when the s**t hits the fan of the Oz economy during the next term – because Howard/Costello have so mismanaged the economy.

  3. […] while back (2007-09-12), mistaken that Costello would happily suffer a single term in opposition, I made the following […]

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